Friday, December 3

Brussels proposes to limit the validity of the vaccination certificate to 9 months

  • The proposal seeks to force citizens to receive the booster dose to contain the spread of covid19

  • The European Commission, which hopes to prevent each country from going on their own, proposes that the new rules come into force on January 10

The “unvaccinated & rdquor; that Europe is experiencing and the brutal increase in infections, which has forced many European countries to decree confinements or reintroduce new restrictions, has led this Thursday to the European Comission to update the travel rules in an attempt to contain the spread of covid19 and force vaccination. To do this, Brussels proposes to limit the validity of the vaccination certificate to 9 months – after the full schedule – to force European citizens to receive a booster injection if they want to continue using this pass as a tool to facilitate their movements in the EU.

The purpose of the recommendation, which they propose to apply as of January 10, is to combine positions, avoid lack of coordination in the EU and that the 27 maintain a uniform approach at a time when several countries have already begun to limit the use of the certificate, created last June initially for a period initial 12 months but that Brussels will extend beyond that period to facilitate free movement within the EU. “Our main objective is to avoid divergent measures across the EU. Agreeing on this proposal will be crucial for the coming months and the protection of the safe free movement of citizens & rdquor ;, said the Commissioner for Justice, Didier Reynders.

The proposal is based on the recommendation of the European Center for Disease Control and Prevention (ECDC) which recommends that the booster dose be administered 6 months after the completion of the vaccination schedule. An additional 3 months are added to this period to give national authorities time to adjust their respective vaccination campaigns and for citizens to access the booster doses. Although there is still no clinical data on the coverage offered by booster doses, Brussels assumes that the period could be longer than the initial full vaccination.

Priority, vaccinated

The Brussels plan also calls for shifting the focus to a “personal & rdquor; and give priority to vaccinated people, so that all those with a vaccination certificate do not have to be subject to additional restrictions, such as testing or quarantines regardless of the Member State of departure. Those who do not have a certificate may continue traveling but a test may be required before or after the trip. The recommendation also proposes to limit the list of essential workers although exceptions will be maintained in the case of transporters, cross-border communities and children.

As Reynders has explained, children under 6 years they will not be subject to any travel restrictions. In principle, children between 6 and 12 years old They will also be exempt unless they come from areas of maximum risk, according to the ECDC map. In that case they will have to have a vaccination certificate or a negative test. Meanwhile, the over 12 years old The same rules will apply to them as for adults.

Contagion map

The proposal also adapts the color map which updates the ECDC weekly. “The map is a tool appreciated by the public and national authorities because it offers a quick picture of the situation in the EU. We have decided to keep it but given the new circumstances and new data we propose to change the criteria used & rdquor ;, explained the Belgian liberal.

According to Brussels, from now on the colors of the map – green, orange, red and dark red – should reflect the combination of three elements: the number of new cases (the incidence rate), the percentage of vaccination and the number of tests. In addition to offering information, this tool will make it possible to coordinate measures between areas where the virus circulates little or a lot. As is currently the case, Brussels maintains that there should be no restrictions for those who move between green areas while additional measures, such as quarantines or tests, should be applied to those people who have not been vaccinated or who have not overcome the disease who come from areas with a high incidence of cases.

Travel from third countries

Related news

The Community Executive has also updated its travel recommendations for people from third countries. According to Brussels, the Member States must maintain free movement and allow the entry of all those vaccinated with the sera included in the WHO emergency list or who have overcome the disease in the last 180 days. Meanwhile, those with the full regimen of a vaccine on the WHO list, but not authorized by the EMA, will have to submit a PCR test before moving to the EU.

The recommendation also clarifies that minors between 6 and 17 years old must present a PCR test before departure if they have not been vaccinated, although Member States may require another test on arrival or apply isolation or quarantine measures. The update of the regulation also limits to 9 months the term of acceptance of the vaccination certificate after the initial vaccination schedule.

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